Sunday 1 May 2016

The Real Meaning of Introvert. (Phew).

Up until now, my definition of extrovert was FUN. My definition of introvert was BORING. 

Unfortunately, as I'm a bit of an introvert, that effectively meant I was also boring.

When I don't feel like going out partying, my husband teases me and calls me OLD. Presumably, old as in boring. 

Sometimes I'd go out to prove I wasn't dull, and sometimes I'd stay at home, feeling relieved, whilst knowing that I'd absolutely have to go out the next time or I'd be back to being boring.

Last week I heard an interview with Beth Bluelow on The Creative Penn podcast that freed me from that definition.

She said: "An introvert gains energy through solitude, and drains energy during social interaction."

YESSS, I thought. That's it!
She continued: "It doesn’t mean that we can’t do the social interaction or that we don’t enjoy it. But in order to get up the energy to do it, we need ample alone time, quiet time, low stimulation time."
It's not that I don't enjoy seeing my friends or that I'm shy. But I find if I have more than two social obligations in one week I'm filled with a certain dread. A lot of my friends don't think twice about offering their only free evening to meet up, whereas I'm very resistant to going out two evenings in a row, since I know I'm going to feel drained afterwards.  
This weekend I fully embraced my inner introvert and didn't feel a jot of guilt. My husband was away, and I woke up on Saturday, grinning to myself because I was so pleased not to have a single plan for the entire weekend. It didn't seem like a tedious prospect to me, but an exciting one.
Beth Bluelow also said in her interview that it's important not to label ourselves, which I totally agree with too. None of us are 100% introvert or extrovert. To keep thing into perspective, on Friday night I'd been out with new friends to an improv night and stayed out until 3* in the morning. It had been great fun and my sociable side had been fully satiated leaving me with absolutely no desire to see a soul for the next couple of days.
So there you have it. You're not boring if you're excited about being alone. You're only boring if you're bored! 

*(N.B 3am is the equivalent to going out until midnight in Spain!)


migbarreto said...


Helen Barbour said...

I am just the same! I have two social engagements this week, on Wed and Fri, and I'm already wondering if I can bail on the second - it's a work do...

Emily Benet said...

Oh once you've committed you've got to go through with it @HelenBarbour - don't you? Haha Good luck. As a writer, you can always say it's material gathering!

@Miguel I think there's a lot of us! I was suggesting to someone should start a group which never meets up :)